Cold months, January and February are. Cold and bad for skin, hence the absurd number of products designed to stop mine from becoming overly dry or sensitised in this round up. Since Christmas I’ve also rekindled a love for classic make-up out of sheer necessity; as I’m always a touch more tired during winter months I simply have less time in which to tend to my face. This leads to following the simple formula of a touch of lipstick, diffused smoky eye and perfected skin. Boring, granted, but it does the job…
OSKIA SUPER 16 SERUM / You surely know by now that I wouldn’t – no, simply couldn’t – recommend a product of this price unless it were really, really super. I promise this one is. It’s also, thank heavens, a multitasker that contains all the antioxidants, fatty acids and hydrating ingredients you could hope for in one whammy.
ST TROPEZ SELF TAN LUXE FACIAL OIL / This one’s surprising. Though an oil, it is far less viscous and rather more like a toner in texture. In a further divergence from it’s name, it disappears about two seconds after applying. Bafflingly, it somehow still develops a nice, believable tan after a couple of hours.
ESTEE LAUDER LITTLE BLACK PRIMER / I’ve thankfully forgotten the dark time before this lash primer materialised on the market. It’s ideal for pared-back days (just enhancing the eyes subtly) and also handy when you’d like a lash to really pop without looking clogged – just apply a sweep under your usual mascara to supercharge it.
PERRICONE MD FACE FINISHING MOISTURIZER TINT SPF 30 / A little tint, a good layer of moisturiser that doesn’t make foundation slip around the face and one mega SPF in the one pot? HELL YES. (More about it in my Marie Claire Beauty Bulletin here).
TALIKA LIPOSOURCILS EXPERT / It’s not just skin that suffers during colder months – lashes and brows are also in need of a little TLC. While the official line on this is that it helps to encourage hair growth in the brow region, I see no reason for it not to work it’s magic on lashes too and have been employing it as such without incident all winter.
CAUDALIE PREMIER CRU THE ELIXIR / Half serum, half oil is, it turns out, a match made in heaven, particularly if you find an oil a bit heavy and a serum not quite enough, or are simply never going to get round to applying the layers of skincare routine I’m always trying to push. I use this in conjunction with a bunch of other skincare products but have nonetheless noticed a little more springiness of skin since its addition to my regime.
EVE LOM MINERAL POWDER FOUNDATION / My friend Nusch asked me last week which foundation I would recommend were money no object. It’s this one. I’ve heard disparaging remarks from some quarters about the lack of colour options in this range but given that I (and Nusch) found our perfect shades, I can level no criticism on this front at Eve Lom. Instead, I’ve only got glowing things to say about my glowing face when it’s on – it never looks caked or my skin arid as in the case of some mineral powders, it cares for skin while on and I always garner compliments on my skin – not make-up – while wearing. Also, if you’re feeling flush get the brush – it is the softest, most wonderful thing to brush over your face every morning.
LAURA MERCIER CREME SMOOTH LIP COLOUR IN MAYA / I really like a red, but sometimes simply don’t feel up to sporting scarlet. On such days, I find this a nice alternative – still punchy, still most definitely red, but just a little less in your face.
UDO’S CHOICE ULTIMATE OIL BLEND CAPSULES / Whenever I hear people talking about supplements, I find it hard to hold my tongue – good quality ones have supported my skin (and health) through some rather trying times. I’ve an exhaustive list of my favourites – and reasons to take supplements in general – here, but if you’re new to the pill popping game, I suggest you get your hands on these. They’ll improve the quality of your skin/hair/nails and aren’t too dear.
ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS DIPBROW POMADE / Anastasia Beverly Hills are all about the brows. They’re pretty darn famous for their efforts, too – have a quick scout around google and you’ll see every big beauty editor singing their praises. Why the fuss? First, ABH (as they’ll henceforth be known) make their brow pomades/pencils/gels in a huge variety of colours. Second, their products actually look like hair, which is, let’s face it, a rarity when it comes to brow-enhancing make-up.
NUDE BRIGHTENING FIZZY POWDER WASH / No outrageous claims to make about this one – it’s simply a brilliant morning cleanser (or a final wash in the evening if you feel in need) that gently exfoliates with a host of fruit acids while never stripping skin. I use it every other day to help keep my skin clear.
SALLY HANSEN GEL SHINE 3D TOP COAT / Very, very shiny and very, very handy – whenever my nails have started to look a bit shabby, I just apply a coat of this and as if by miracle my nails gleam once more.
HEALGEL BODY / HealGel have a wealth of clinical research to back their skin soothing claims. I won’t bore you with the details now, but let’s just say if your skin is upset/in the process of recovering from trauma/insanely dry, this lightweight gel will go some way to really restore it. As my elbows and knees suffer most during colder months, they get a generous smothering am and pm.
AERIN ROSE DE GRASSE / Every time I wear this I’m asked about it. It’s rose, but not of the traditional powdery variety. Instead it’s fresh, sour, green, moreish. Fans of rose – it’s not a world away from, say, Jo Malone Red Roses but just a little less stuffy and a whole lot more interesting.
MANICURE SET / I surely can’t be the only one who spent many years relying on an old pair of stainless steel scissors for all my at home nail grooming? Not anymore! My sister kindly bought me a manicure set for Christmas and I’m rather taken by it, not least because I no longer have to contend with slightly blunt scissors that bent my nails out of shape before cutting them (yes, things really had gotten to that stage).
SEW LOMAX MINI SOS KIT / You may have gleaned that I’m a bit of an organiser. This trait very much extends to my handbag, within which I house many a handy object. This kit has made things a bit easier for me to never be caught short – it’s dinky and has a hairband, kirby grips, plaster, berocca, earring backs, sewing kit and many, many more things tucked into the pretty little papoose.
SCHWARZKOPF GLAMINATION LIGHT GLOSSY HAIRSPRAY / Rock hard locks that look lacquered are very much out at the moment. Instead, I’m exploring the territory of soft, texturised hair with a little grit. While this look will still need fixing, it also needs gloss. Enter this hairspray, which provides some hold and shine without any stiffness.
CLARINS EXFOLIATING BODY SCRUB / I return to this exfoliant again and again – it’s one of my go-to products when my skin is feeling a little ropey. I use it when dry then hop in the shower to buff off, but if you have very sensitive skin proceed with caution – test a patch when damp and don’t use if redness emerges.
ALEXANDER WANG BAG / I snaffled this for a bargain in New York, where my fondness for Wang bags led me to this silver number in Bergdorf’s, but am told it may well be landing here soon. If it does, I suggest you get your hands on it – it’s the perfect size for day-to-day use and goes with everything.
ESTEE LAUDER RESILIENCE LIFT RESTORATIVE RADIANCE OIL / Another silky, lightweight oil that isn’t occlusive, this really peps skin up in the morning without needing a whole lot of down time before you can apply your next layer. Also, a tiny pat on top of foundation works wonders to restore skin’s lustre late in the afternoon.